Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: FCA, IRS Whistleblower, Stanley Sporkin, SEC Awards


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Become Familiar With the False Claim Act


The False Claims Act (FCA) originated from the misappropriation of money that occurred during the Civil War. In 1863, Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts (R) introduced a bill aimed at addressing fraud against the US government. The bill acknowledged that there were no appropriate measures in place to prevent contractors that were working with the government from committing fraud and that it was time to impose punishment upon those participating in fraudulent activity. After passing the Senate, the bill was amended in the House of Representatives. The Senate then passed the new version of the bill, and President Abraham Lincoln signed off on the FCA read more »

Justice Department backs reviving whistleblower claims that IBM defrauded IRS


The U.S. Justice Department is urging a federal appeals court to revive a whistleblower lawsuit accusing International Business Machines Corp of defrauding the IRS in order to coerce it into signing a $265 million software contract. read more »

Stanley Sporkin, Bane of Corporate Corruption, Dies at 88


As the S.E.C.’s enforcer, he targeted firms that made illegal campaign contributions in the U.S. and bribed officials to gain business in other countries.

In the 1970s, at a newly vitalized S.E.C., Mr. Sporkin investigated illegal corporate slush funds, pressured American companies to comply with the commission’s cease-and-desist orders, and sued the firms if they failed to do so.

He also successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. read more »

SEC Awards Over $570,000 to Two Whistleblowers


The SEC has awarded approximately $396 million to 76 individuals since issuing its first award in 2012.  All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the SEC by securities law violators.  No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.  Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the SEC with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action.  Whistleblower awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million. read more »